Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2D Tuesday #5: There Be Dragons

When I was a younger man I played a lot of D&D, except without rules, or dice, or a plan. I guess I just liked dragons  and beholders and all the fun stuff that was packed into the books. That and the constant imagination stretching. Anyways here's a small tribute to that time in my life. This is technically a half a speed painting, it's not really finished, but I think I'm happy enough to show it. This is also the first thing I have completed on my new Intuos5 and with the PS6 Beta. Good times.

Friday, March 23, 2012

From the Archives: The Simpsons Game

Back in 2007 I had the opportunity to work on a pretty great game for EA. It was the Simpsons for XBOX360 and PS3. EA Salt Lake was tasked with rebuilding and optimizing the hub world for the game, which meant I got to model a number of items for the game world including the Treehouse, and the Springfield Mall. Though it was a very brief project for our EASL I found it among the most rewarding. Nothing beats getting paid to make the Simpsons universe!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2D Tuesday #4: Big Bikes for Blue

Digging through the archives found a painting I made for my Stepdad Rex, a biker for life. This ol thing still has some soul, made it on my Toshiba tablet back in 2009. It was fun to see it again.

In other news I seem to be trapped in Texas, multiple huge storms have knocked out all of my connecting flights and now I'm trying to escape TO New York. Guess this makes me the reverse Kurt Russell. See ya Thursday with more Modo goodness.

Friday, March 16, 2012

3d ThhFriday #3

Travelling to Austin Yesterday put me a bit off schedule on this post. Been making some more progress on my Darksiders Contest Axe. I figure another couple of weeks and I should have it in the can. For now here's the progress:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

From the Archives: Tiger Woods Golf 2005

Back in 2005 I was hired by Headgate Studios (who were purchased by EA to become EA Salt Lake) to work as a course artist on Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf. The game was awesome to work on and proved to be a real breakthrough for my career. I have a lot of fond memories of that point in time, this whole project was a ton of fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2D Tuesday #3: The Sun is Setting

I got the spring fever really bad. Here's a painting of the beach cribbed from a friend Instagram feed. Sometime I just want to try and catch the colors and mood. this one had a lot of subtlety to it. Mixing colors is a real art and finding the right balance is a real trick. Been spending a lot of time at work lighting so getting this stuff right has really had me thinking a lot. I think this came together okay, not bad for a speedy. Well here's to sunset, coming vacations and all the wonderful places we'll go.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Small Leap Forward

Whew, what a week. 47 hour weekends suck, but I'll make due. I didn't do GDC but I really wish I had. Next year? I guess it's okay cause I have the tail end of SXSW coming up this next weekend and PAX East is less than a month away. It will be my first time in Boston so that should be worth it. Also my buddy Xavi picked me up a new book. Can't wait to see it tomorrow!

Lord of the Rings: Rewatching the extended versions for the first time in around 5 years. This is still the greatest fantasy series ever. To say that I am pumped for the hobbit would be an understatement.  You owe it to yourself to watch this trailer if you haven't already.

Kindoms of Amalur: Reckoning: Curt Schilling broke the Red Sox long drought in the World Series. He then went and founded 38 Studios. Now his company in partnership with Big Huge Games is breaking ground in Action RPG's with great art, gameplay, design, world building and hell of a great start to a new franchise. Amalur is the good stuff.

Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. If you have a Vita you need to own this game, if only for the math jokes. Remember, Math Jokes are the First Sine of Madness.

Darksiders 2 Art Contest: I like to abuse myself by trying to compete in art contests against unemployed game artists with way more ZBrush experience. Maybe not my greatest idea, but it's fun to do the work (as if I don't have enough already. Tons of great entries here. If you dig way deep down you might find mine here.

This weekend marked the passing of Moebius. The whole art community is in debt to this great innovator and his contributions to fantasy art, movies and comics. He will be sorely missed.

Time to pour a drink down my gullet for a dead homie. RIP Jean Giraud.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3d Thursday #2: DarkSiders Contest Entry Concept Art

Just a quick post tonight. I'm going to enter Polycount's  DarkSiders II Design A Weapon contest. Here's my axe. I'm not feeling too wordy tonight. Maybe I'll give it some backstory tomorrow. For tonight here is some pretty pictures. 

For those interested in the contest you can look here.

To see more of the other entries you can start here!

Some really nice stuff in so far, check it out.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2D Tuesday #2: New Art, Washington Coast

Tonight it was time for new painting. This comes from a photo I took in Washington State off the Olympic Peninsula last year. I love the Pacific Coast. If you have never been just go now, you'll never regret it, it's one of those places that stays with you. 

Anyways, this is one of my first new pieces of the year, enjoy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

From the Archives: Hotwheels Velocity X

Going back to the start of my gaming career with Hot Wheels Velocity X. Developed by Beyond Games and Originally published in 2002 by ThQ for PS2, Nintendo Gamecube and PCs. I worked then much like now as a bit of everything artist, environments, cars, layouts, and characters. October will by my tenth anniversary of having games published. Here's some screens with elements I worked on.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Update

Since I've redone my blog I don't really want it to go the way of my last blog, which stopped being about art or games, which is what I want to keep this blog really focused on. I want this to be a place to focus on my art, and over at my tumblr you can see the stuff that gets me excited. This place also has to serve a repository for my older works, so expect to see that on Sundays too, in addition to just talking about art process and finding your way.

So here's my news: I've got a still unannounced next game for Gameloft that is going to be out probably in May. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, kind of pretty too. I'm heading to SXSW in a couple of weeks to see some awesome music and spend some time with my buddy Evan a though he's probably going to be swamped with final preparations on Starhawk . Then it's another 2 weeks until PAX East.

So this was a crazy week for new product announcements. My wallet is still broken in half from trips and buying CS5.5 so this is going to be an interesting few months. The Wacom Intuos5 is now out and looks amazing. I think I'll probably try and get another few months out of my Intuos4. It's hard to believe I had mine for over 3 years already. 

Next and perhaps even more significant for me is Luxology has released Modo 6.01. Modo has become my modelling and texturing tool of choice over the last year. I have a deep rooted hatred of 3DS Max which is fundamentally worse than Blender but costs $4000 a seat. Now that Modo does this, I don't think I'll need open up Autodesk stuff again. Now I just convince work to change the pipeline. 

A final thought on Modo 6.01, They have really blown me away the capabilities of their animation system. It's not really "character" system so much as a deformation engine, you can watch this demonstration and really see just how amazing this new set of tools is. I can't more more happy! 

Oh and zBrush 4 R3 came out. What a week!

The last big thing for me this week, PS Vita. I'm very impressed with hardware. The screen, the button feel, the front and back camera, the touch, the ergonomics and the styling are all incredible. For me this is as good as hand held gaming can get. My only gripe, as good as the Sony Hardware team has done delivering the future the marketing teams and interaction teams have really created a less than impressive UI. It feels like a hokey hodgepodge of Wii and iOS, it doesn't feel like a Sony product and it doesn't have a nice consistency of interaction. It feels like three feuding UI camps each got their stake on all of the different chucks of this and couldn't really get a definitive cohesive set of features. Honestly Crossbar with Touch would have been much nicer, this feels like a bad joke.

I don't want to end my thoughts on Vita as a big downer, the handheld is PERFECT for games, an amazing controller in its own right, and already has a killer game (Uncharted) with more coming (MGS Collection, Gravity Rush). It's the best platform for portable gaming I've ever seen. Of course this is probably going to be overshadowed in a week by the info on the iPad3. But if you follow me on twitter (@SharpenedPixel) you probably know how I feel about it already.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3D Thursday #1: Wyvern from Star Battalion

Back in 2010 I published my first game with Gameloft NY. It was called 'Star Battalion' and it was 3D Space shooter for iOS. It was a lot of fun to work on with one of the real highlights of the process was making a 3D printed version of the Wyvern. There were 4 models of the Wyvern made, we had a zBrush version made in Hong Kong, the in game low res version and yet another high res version made for the Box and the intro Cinematic. Since I was the art lead for the actual game I feel like this one is the most 'canonical'. The Design aesthetics were meant to be rooted more in 80's shmups and modern military hardware. I think a lot of the forms are pretty nice and it was a fun model to make. The following images are all screen caps out of maya, not the nicest renders but I think you can really see the shapes well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2D Tuesday #1- Santa Claus

Here is my Christmas Card to Friends and Family from 2011. It's Cracked Out Santa in NY. This is a mix of 3D and hand painting and turned out to be a lot of fun to make. Looking back on it I would have been more precise with the neon as hand painting it didn't give me exactly the precision I wanted. It was speedy, finished in around 4 hours.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Blog! First Post!

Welcome to Sharpened Pixel. This blog is the home of the art of Joshua Vaughan an Artist working in Games Since 2001. I hope to show you my work, my tutorials and my continuing development as an Artist. Feedback is welcome, I'll be posting on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thur/Fridays. For now, enjoy the logo: